Search Results for: METHODOLOGY

Rich Habits Study – Background and Methodology

Tom Corley boats - cropMy Rich Habits study has received international attention in the media. Newspapers, magazines, online sites, TV, radio and podcasts in 27 countries, so far, have shared bits and pieces of my research.

As a result, I have received tens of thousands of emails from around the world, regarding my research and my study methodology.

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It Takes 32 Years to Become Rich – According to My Rich Habits Study


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How long does it take for the average rich person to become rich? Ten years, twenty years?

How about thirty-two years.

That’s how long it took the average self-made millionaire, according to my data.

It took 38 years for 52% of the self-made millionaires in my study to accumulate their wealth and 42 years for 21% of them to get there.

Only a handful, 4%, became wealthy in less than 27 years.

Let me share some of my data with you.

Seventy-six percent of the wealthy in my Rich Habits Study ( were self-made millionaires. Thirty-one percent came from poor households and 45% came from middle-class households.

What’s compelling about the data I gathered, is the age in which these self-made millionaires actually rang and bell and struck it rich.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • 1% (2 out of 233) became wealthy before the age of 40
  • 3% (6 out of 233) became wealthy between age 40 and 55
  • 16% (38 out of 233) became wealthy between age 46 and 50
  • 28% (66 out of 233) became wealthy between age 51 and 55
  • 31% (73 out of 233) became wealthy between age 56 and 60
  • 21% (48 out of 233) became wealthy after the age of 60

The romanticized notion of getting rich quick always finds an eager audience. We are stimulated by stories about the young and the wealthy. The immediate success of youthful billionaires like Facebook’s Mark Zukerberg or Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brinbut, play to our get rich quick desires.

It turns out, however, that getting rich quickly is a very rare phenomenon.

It’s clear from my Rich Habits research data, that accumulating wealth takes a very long time. It just doesn’t happen overnight.

In fact, 80% of the self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study did not become wealthy until after age 50.

What’s even more of an eye opener is that 27% of my Rich Habits millionaires failed at least once in business.

The path to riches is a long, winding and upward climb. Those few who do make it, are disciplined, gritty, persistent and patient.

My mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

6 Social Skills That Make You Irresistible


Tom Corley boats - cropThe self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study had habituated important social skills that helped them forge and grow relationships with those who matter – other sucess-minded people.

Having good social skills acts like a magnet, drawing the right kind of people to you – people who are influencers and who can open doors for you.

In my book, Rich Kids, I shared many of the social skills self-made millionaires learned from their non-rich parents; skills which eventually morphed int habits that helped them build relationships with individuals who became part of their core inner circle. Here’s a short summary, from Rich Kids, of some of the most important social skills:

  1. Look everyone in the eye for no more than 5 seconds at a time, then divert your glance for another 5 seconds. Staring into others eyes too long, makes them feel uncomfortable. This diverting practice helps keep conversations relaxed and going.
  2. Ask questions about the lives of others. The Universal Law of Self Interest is hardwired into every human being. People are constantly thinking about themselves. When you focus the conversation on the other person, they immediately begin to like you. Ask them questions about their birthday, their hobbies, their interests, the schools they attended, where they grew up, current family background (married? kids?), where they live, dreams or goals they are pursuing.
  3. Properly introducing yourself to new people at social events, is critical to building new relationships. Smile and shake their hand while looking them in the eyes. Write down their name in a notebook you carry (writing improves memory retention by marshaling the powers of the cerebellum). In one sentence explain who you are and why you are at the event. Then immediately shift to asking questions about your new future friend.
  4. Be polite – Yes, Please, Thank You, May I, etc.
  5. Smile – A lot. Smiling relaxes those you are talking to. Authentic smiling makes you appear uber-friendly.
  6. To Don’ts: Don’t interrupt others who are talking to you or others. Don’t look at your cell phone while others are talking to you. Don’t look around the room, while others are talking to you. Don’t curse or use inappropriate language.

Success is a process. At the heart of that process are good habits. Forging good social skill habits is important to building relationships.

And Rich Relationships are the currency of the wealthy.

My mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

Successful Entrepreneurs Never Assume


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Assumptions are, by definition, the act of accepting as fact, something which is unknown.

The habit of making assumptions is a bad one because it can lead to unexpected consequences, oftentimes bad ones that cost you not only time but money.

In my five year study of the daily habits of the rich and poor (Rich Habits Study), 72% of the poor in my study had this False Assumption Poor Habit.

Sixty-seven percent of the self-made millionaires in my study were entrepreneurs, or individuals who were pursuing some dream. When you are an entrepreneur, you figure out what to do and what not to do through the school of hard knocks.

In this school, the entrepreneurs learn the hard way the fallout of making assumptions. Those assumptions can lead to mistakes which cost them time and money.

Time is one thing, but money is a precious commodity to budding entrepreneurs who need every dollar. They simply cannot afford to lose too much money.

Successful entrepreneurs quickly realize that making assumptions jeopardizes their business. So, they make a habit of vetting all assumptions.

I found in my research that individuals make assumptions in one of four ways:

  1. You do not ask enough questions.
  2. You do not ask enough of the right questions.
  3. You don’t seek feedback from experts in your industry.
  4. If you do seek feedback, you ignore it.

Successful entrepreneurs do not make important decisions until they have evaluated all of the feedback they receive from many different sources. This helps them avoid making false assumptions.

Seeking feedback from others, prior to making any important decision, is a firewall against making a false assumption.

My mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

7 Types of Wealth


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When you think about the word “wealth”, what immediately comes to mind?

Money, or investments right?

When I began writing my first book, Rich Habits, it occurred to me that there were many habits of the rich (see Rich Habits Study) that seemed completely unrelated to the accumulation of money.

There were things like exercising aerobically every day – 76% of the rich in my study exercised 30 minutes or more every day, aerobically.

I found many other habits that seemed unrelated to the accumulation of money, but that nonetheless, had beneficial effects on the lives of the rich.

Thanks to my study, I now understand that there are numerous types of wealth.

In fact, I’ve identified seven types, which I’d like to share with you.

#1 Financial Wealth – Having more money than you need to live the life you want to live.

#2 Health Wealth – Lean, healthy, physically fit and the absence of disease.

#3 Relationship Wealth – Surrounded by an abundance of upbeat, optimistic, happy people who love you, care about you and who encourage and support everything you do.

#4 Time Wealth – Having enough free, non-work time to spend with family and friends and to do the things you like to do.

#5 Intellectual Wealth – Possessing expert knowledge that you put to use in providing an income for you and your family.

#6 Talent Wealth – Possessing unique talents that you put to use in providing an income for you and your family.

#7 Peace of Mind Wealth – Low levels of day to day stress. Mentally calm and relaxed.

Wealth isn’t always about money. There are many ways you can be rich.

My mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

Prepare Yourself For Success


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The odds of winning the Mega Millions lottery are one in three hundred million.

Not far behind, are the odds of becoming an overnight success.

It’s exceptionally rare to pursue something new and become immediately successful at it. But it does happen:

  • Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone With the Wind in 1936. In that same year, the book sold 176,000 copies, unprecedented for an author. But the more incredible feat was that Gone With the Wind was Mitchell’s first and only book. The book has since gone on to sell more than 33 million copies. By contrast, the average author never sells more than 500 books in their entire lifetime. For self-published authors, that number is less than 200 books sold during a lifetime.
  • Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook on February 4, 2004 from his Harvard University dorm room. By 2007 Facebook had become a phenomenon, making Zuckerberg an overnight success and a very wealthy young man.
  • Elon Musk started Zip2 in 1995. Zip2 was a company that provided and licensed online city guide software to newspapers. In February 1999, just four years later, Compaq Computer paid Musk and his two partners $307 million to acquire Zip2.

The media loves to write stories about individuals who suddenly become successful. It excites readers and gives them hope that they too can become rich and successful.

Reality, however, is not so exciting.

Let me share some of my data with you about the millionaires in my Rich Habits Study:

  • 1% (2 out of 233) became wealthy before the age of 40
  • 3% (6 out of 233) became wealthy between age 40 and 55
  • 16% (38 out of 233) became wealthy between age 46 and 50
  • 28% (66 out of 233) became wealthy between age 51 and 55
  • 31% (73 out of 233) became wealthy between age 56 and 60
  • 21% (48 out of 233) became wealthy after the age of 60

If you do the math, 80% did not become rich until after the age of 50.

The romanticized notion of getting rich quick always finds an eager audience. We are stimulated by stories about the young and the wealthy. The immediate success of youthful billionaires like Facebook’s Mark Zukerberg or Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin play to our get rich quick desires.

We also obsess over stories about lottery winners. And the lottery people know it. California’s lottery catchphrase is Imagine What a Buck Could Do. New York’s lottery catchphrase is  Dollar and a Dream. There is even a popular reality T.V. show called Lottery Changed My Life about how the lives of lottery winners were changed.

Instant gratification is the rallying cry of millions with a get rich quick mindset.

Unfortunately, getting rich quickly is a rare phenomenon. It’s clear from the above data that accumulating wealth takes a very long time.

One of the reasons success takes so long is because the pursuit of success is often accompanied by adversity. Setbacks, mistakes and temporary failures are common among self-made millionaires. Those who persevere, overcome adversity by learning what to do and what not to do. And that learning, takes time.

This is why those few who do succeed, are almost always seasoned veterans.

For most successful people, success is a long process; a progression of one thing to the next, completely under the radar of your consciousness. You just don’t see success happening in real time, even when it’s happening, because the march towards success is so slow and takes so long.

It is very much like snow falling on the side of a mountain. You don’t see the snow accumulating or the snow bank growing. Then one day, there is an avalanche.

Success may eventually reward you with an avalanche of riches, but it is an avalanche that is the byproduct of decades of laser focus, hard work, learning, pivoting and relentless persistence.

Those who understand this have realistic expectations of the journey and, therefore, do not become disheartened when success is not immediate.

Is There One Overriding Secret to Success?


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Is There One Overriding Secret to Success?

I’ve spent the better part of 14 years interviewing/studying rich people and poor people. As a result, I’ve accumulated an enormous amount of research data. I’ve shared a good amount of my research with tens of millions around the globe, thanks to my friends in the media and my Rich Habits devotees.

One question I am constantly asked by those familiar with my books and research is this:

Did you find one overriding secret to becoming rich?

The answer is most definitely, YES!

There was one singular thing that I discovered which was most responsible for transforming the poor or middle-class into multi-millionaires. And this one thing transcended all of the best advice from the wisest purveyors of self-help.

What is this one thing?

Having a clear vision of who you want to be twenty years from now.

The self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study had a clear vision of the desired future version of themselves.

Why is having a clear vision so important?

Having a clear vision of who you want to be in the future is the springboard which forces you to change from who you are, to who you want to be. This clear vision sets in motion powerful forces, which transforms you into the person you need to be in order to realize success and its byproduct, wealth.

A Clear Vision Ignites Passion

A clear vision acts like a match to paper, igniting the fires of passion, stimulating you to take action. That action then further feeds the fires of passion.

When you light the fires of passion, work ceases to be work. It changes from drudgery to pleasure. And your mindset shifts from negative to positive, a critical success trait. Your life seems to take on new meaning.

Having a clear vision has another domino effect, triggering other powerful forces, such as revealing your inner talents.

A Clear Vision Exposes Inner Talents

We all have innate talents, or things that come easier to us than others. Unfortunately, most never discover their innate talents because they lack a clear vision of who they want to be and, as a result, the drive, motivation or passion to experiment with new activities, is hard to find.

There is a little-known energy source that lies dormant inside each one of us, until we arouse it. This energy source is your emotions.

When you discover an innate talent, you amp up the emotional centers of the brain, which then fuel all of your energy needs while perfecting your talent. This emotional energy enables you to practice for many hours without feeling tired or losing energy.

A Clear Vision Helps Define the Right Goals

A goal can be good or bad. Good goals help move you forward toward the realization of your vision. Bad goals don’t move you forward and are, in fact, time wasters. When you have a clear vision, you are able to see and separate good goals from bad goals.

Again, like a set of dominoes, those good goals then lead to the creation of daily habits which help you in the accomplishment of those goals.

A Clear Vision Forces the Adoption of Success Habits

Your daily habits are the construction crew that helps you construct your ideal, future life. When you have a clear vision, you will forge daily habits which will help move you toward the realization of your vision.

A Clear Vision Attracts Power Relationships

Power Relationships are relationships with influencers who can assist you in realizing your vision. These Power Relationships will be successful and often wealthy people whose inner circle can open up doors with one phone call.

No one succeeds in a vacuum. You need others who can help you become who you want to be. A clear vision attracts Power Relationships to you, like a magnet.

A Clear Vision Transforms Ordinary Individuals Into Virtuosos

A Virtuoso is anyone who has unique, advanced skills and knowledge. Society will pay Virtuosos a premium for their product or service, because they perceive Virtuosos as more valuable.

Once again, like a set of dominoes, the growth habits a clear vision births, enables you to become a virtuoso once you adopt those habits.

Growth habits are daily routines, such as reading to learn, deliberate practice and analytical practice. A clear vision forces you to do things on a daily basis which eventually transforms you into a virtuoso.

A Clear Vision Creates an Explosive Work Ethic

When you have a clear vision, you become passionate about the work you do which, you believe, will help you realize your vision. This passion triggers unrelenting persistence, as you march forward to creating the future you.

To the independent observer, this unrelenting persistence is seen as nothing more than a hard work ethic. But, a hard work ethic, so common among successful, wealthy people, is, itself, nothing more than an unrelenting persistence fueled by passion.

Becoming rich is a process. When you have a clear vision of who you want to be, that process reveals itself. Your vision acts like a GPS, guiding you along the correct path – the path that leads to mastery, success and wealth.

The Advantages of Growing Up In Poverty


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Those who struggle with poverty, while growing up, see the world as a very different place than those raised in the middle-class or in wealthy households.

In my Rich Habits Study, 41% of the 177 self-made millionaires were raised in poor households. Yet, somehow they managed to break out of their poverty as adults.

Ironically, according to my research, being poor actually endows you with certain advantages over the middle-class and the wealthy.

More Willing to Take Risks

One of the common denominators among all of the self-made millionaires in my study, was the need to become comfortable with taking risk. Growing up poor forces you to take risks in the pursuit of wealth. Overcoming the fear of taking risks, therefore, becomes a habit.

With respect to my Rich Habits self-made millionaires, the fear of taking risk resurfaced only after they accumulated their wealth. At that point, the fear of losing their hard-earned wealth motivated them to hire wealth advisors, insurance agents, CPAs, Estate Planners and other financial advisors to help them preserve their wealth. So, becoming rich actually lowered their tolerance for taking risks, risks which could potentially decrease their wealth.

Desire to Change is Great

Poverty can either beat you down or make you stronger. For the self-made millionaires in my study, it made them stronger. That’s why they were in my study – poverty motivated them to achieve.

Their desire to become successful and rich drove them to transform themselves. This desire to change motivated them to learn what they needed to know in order to succeed. It also forced them to develop and perfect superior skills in order to earn more than their competition.

Superior Work Ethic

A hard work ethic is a prerequisite to success. Those who are raised in poverty, have no choice but to work hard. Thus, the poor develop a hard work ethic. When you are able to combine that hard work ethic with your dreams and goals, what a powerful combination!

If you grow up in an environment of comfort, you might be less willing to do the hard work success requires.

Failure Doesn’t Scare You As Much

One of the downsides of failure, is that failing at something can put you in the poor house. When you grow up poor, you don’t fear poverty as much, because it is something you are familiar with and something you survived. Therefore, failure does not frighten you as much and, in fact, emboldens you to take risks.

Poverty Removes Rose-Colored Lenses

When you grow up poor you see things through a much different lens. You know life can be very hard when you are poor. Things can and do go wrong. You know that because you experienced that growing up in poverty. The experience of poverty allows you to see things as they really are and not allow yourself to be blinded by unrealistic rose-colored optimism.

Being anchored in reality, allows you to see potential pitfalls ahead of time, which enables you to navigate and pivot around those pitfalls. Those who are not raised in poverty, might see things as they wish them to be and be blind to reality, until it hits. And when it hits, it’s always a surprise, leaving you ill-prepared to deal with that reality.

Comfortable With Failure and Setbacks

Those who struggle with poverty become familiar with failure and setbacks. Consequently, when things go wrong, as they often do in the pursuit of wealth, those raised in poverty don’t raise the white flag and surrender. Rather, they see failure and setbacks as normal and something that can be overcome.

Accustomed to Sacrifice

Growing up poor means you are unable to possess the things non-poor people take for granted. Poverty forces you to become accustomed to doing without. This actually is a great advantage. The pursuit of wealth always requires sacrifice. Sometimes for many years. If you’re accustomed to sacrifice, it’s less painful and more tolerable.

Frugality is a Habit

The poor have no choice but to be frugal with their spending. They forge the frugality habit at a very young age. And, as you know, habits are hard to break. This frugality habit, therefore, follows the poor into their wealthy adult lives.

Growing up poor is not necessarily a disadvantage. Poverty forces you to develop certain traits that can actually be leveraged to your advantage, helping you in the pursuit of your dreams and goals.

Not All Goals Are Good Goals – How To Distinguish a Good Goal From a Bad Goal


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You hardly ever hear anyone talk about goals in a negative context. Goals are almost always perceived to be good. But as I learned from studying wealthy and poor people since 2003, not all goals are Good Goals.

So, how do you know when a goal is a Good Goal or a Bad Goal?

Good Goals have 12 things in common:

  1. Good Goals create long-term benefits, that pay dividends for many years. These benefits very often take many years before they show up in your life.
  2. Good Goals create a unique type of happiness, known as fulfillment. Fulfillment is a type of long-term happiness. It greets you in the morning and lulls you to sleep at night.
  3. Good Goals force you outside your comfort zone. They force you to learn what to do and what not to do. Good Goals make you grow as an individual.
  4. Good Goals force you to create good daily habits; habits that stay with you the rest of your life.
  5. Good Goals keep you moving forward. They get you from point A to point B. Point B being a better place, such as rising from poverty to the middle-class or from the middle-class to millionaire class.
  6. Good Goals make you smarter. They boost your IQ by challenging you to think your way through problems and obstacles. That learning results in the creation of new synapses in the brain. The more synapses you have, the higher your IQ.
  7. Good Goals attract and build relationships with the right kind of individuals. They force you to associate with can-do, optimistic, success-minded people.
  8. Good Goals improve the quality of life for you and your family.
  9. Good Goals allow you to maintain or improve your relationships. They don’t force you to isolate yourself from the ones you love.
  10. Good Goals allow you to maintain good health or improve your health.
  11. Good Goals expose you to more opportunities.
  12. Good Goals boost your confidence. The more goals you pursue and achieve, the more confident you become.

Examples of Good Goals:

  • Become an Expert – Eighty two percent of the professionals in my five year study on the wealthy were niche experts or virtuosos at what they did for a living. They devoted time on the side, every day, to developing an expertise in a specific area within their industry. Virtuosos have more value and, thus, make more money. Even better, because they make more money, they don’t have to work as many hours.
  • Start a Side Business – Forty eight percent of the business owners in my study started their business while working for someone else. It is possible to grow a side business while still maintaining your full-time job. Not only does a side gig create supplemental income, it could eventually give you the freedom to leave you job and devote yourself full-time to your business.
  • Improve the Way You Look – Thirty nine percent of the wealthy in my study lifted weights three days a week. Lifting weights to build a stronger, healthier body will improve the way you look. Healthier people have a better quality of life and fewer sick days, which translates into more productivity, more money and a longer life.
  • Become a Speaker – Twenty three percent of the millionaires in my study were also speakers. Joining Toastmasters or some similar speaker organization in order to develop your speaking skills will benefit you in the long term. Being a good speaker sets you apart from the competition and could eventually lead to paid speaking engagements, creating an additional revenue stream.
  • Become a Writer – Eighteen percent of those wealthy individuals in my study wrote for industry magazines, newsletters, blogs, etc. Becoming a good writer stamps you as an expert on the topics you write about which opens the door of opportunity for promotions at work, new job opportunities or eventually getting paid for articles or books you write.
  • Lose Weight – Setting a weight loss goal often involves a daily regimen of exercise, healthy eating and encourages a healthy lifestyle. It may also motivate you to moderate your consumption of alcohol or to quit smoking. When the weight eventually comes off you enjoy the compliments, feel healthier and are noticeably happier.
  • Saving/Investing – Opportunities knock for many, but go unanswered when you don’t have the money to take advantage of them. When you decide to live below your means, you are able to save money. When you are able to save money, you are able to invest that money or take advantage of opportunities that present themselves.

Bad Goals have 3 things in common:

  1. Bad Goals Solve Some Immediate Need.
  2. Bad Goals Create No Long-Term Benefit When Achieved.
  3. Bad Goals Borrow From Your Future.

Examples of Bad Goals:

  • Win the Lottery – Becoming rich by gambling in any way is a bad goal. The odds of winning the lottery are remote and costs you money that could otherwise be saved or invested prudently for future wealth creation. Seventy-seven percent of the poor in my study gambled on the lottery regularly. The mortgaged their future savings for a shot at instant wealth.
  • Buy a Bigger House – Unless this is a need (i.e. expanding family), buying a bigger house is a bad goal. Bigger houses require more upkeep, higher utilities bills and more in interest that you pay to the bank. A bigger house means that house owns more of your future income.
  • Buy a Boat or Luxury Car – This is another example of a bad goal. Boats and luxury cars are costly to won and costly to maintain. Plus, the money you spend to own them could be have been used to fund your retirement plan or build assets that create a revenue stream down the road.
  • Take an Exotic Vacation – While traveling to exotic locations can have some educational benefits, saving your hard earned money just to spend it on an expensive vacation means not having that money to build future wealth.
  • Destroy Your Competition – When you focus on destroying your competition as a means to increase your market share, rather than improving upon the products or service you offer, you ultimately hurt your business model. Engaging in competitive warfare often accomplishes only two things: reduced profits and enemies.

When the achievement of a goal does not improve your life for the long-term, it’s a bad goal. Goals pursued to own more stuff or to create some immediate, momentary pleasure are almost always bad goals.

Be very careful of the goals you pursue. Not all goals are good goals.

Why Rich People Don’t Win the Lottery


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When was the last time you played the lottery?

If the answer is “this morning”, you might want to keep reading.

The media likes writing stories about lottery winners because the masses like reading about their stories. For those who consistently play the lottery, the stories offer a sort of validation.

But when you peel the onion, the fantasy about winning the lottery is really all about a mindset that embraces instant gratification, instant rewards and instant wealth, without enduring any of the hardship pursuing wealth actually requires.

If you look carefully at any of those lottery-winner stories, one thing you would notice is that hardly any of the winners are CEOs, senior executives, successful entrepreneurs, successful professionals or other successful types.


As I learned from my five-year study on the rich and the poor, successful people don’t play the lottery because they don’t have a lottery mindset.

What is the lottery mindset?

It is the idea that there is a shortcut to wealth; that it is possible to become instantly wealthy by virtue of random good luck.

The problem is, those who have the lottery mindset are not living in reality. The lottery mindset is a fantasy with odds that boggle the mind.

In the 25-year history of the Iowa Lottery, for example, only 110 people won $1 million or more. That equates to about 4 millionaire-lottery winners a year. In 2006, there were 50,529 millionaires in Iowa. If you do the math, only about .0079% of all Iowa millionaires are, therefore, lottery winners. Not a very promising path to wealth.

But this lottery mindset is not just about playing the lottery. It’s about embracing uneducated risk and speculating with your money.

People who frequent casinos, have a lottery mindset. The recent masses jumping on the bitcoin bandwagon, have a lottery mindset. People who invest in start-ups they know little to nothing about, have a lottery mindset.

The lottery mindset brainwashes you into believing that there is an easier path towards wealth. One in which you are not required to do the requisite heavy lifting, that success requires.

Those with a lottery mindset do not pursue their dreams. They do not set goals. They do not step outside their comfort zone, experimenting and learning new things. They do not engage in daily self-improvement as a whetstone in developing expert knowledge or skills.

The demographics of those who buy into this get rich quick lottery mindset are typically poor people who see the lottery as the only available means by which they can level the playing field and become rich. Winning the lottery is the result of random luck, of which the rich have no advantage over the poor.

The lottery mindset brainwashes you into believing that there is an easier path towards wealth. One in which you are not required to do the requisite heavy lifting, that success requires.

But according to my research, there is no easier path. Wealth is a byproduct of success and success is a byproduct of doing certain things every day that help move you closer and closer to success.

In my most famous books, Rich Habits and Change Your Habits Change Your Life, I share the habits many millionaires have in common. For those who haven’t read any of my books, here’s a quick overview of seven of those Rich Habits:

#1 Success Requires Goal-Driven Actions/Behaviors

Goals are the construction crew self-made millionaires use to build their financial empires. In my research, these self-made millionaires created goals around their dreams and then spent as many as twelve years pursuing those goals.

#2 Success Requires the Pursuit of Some Dream

One of the three paths to wealth that I uncovered in my research was the pursuit of a dream. In the context of wealth creation, dreams are ideas that you can monetize. Dreamers are typically entrepreneurs who are very passionate about their dreams and fanatically spend every available moment thinking and taking action on their dreams.

#3 Success Requires Sacrifice

Typically, this sacrifice involves the expenditure of time, especially in the early stages, which limits how much time you are able to spend with close family and friends.

#4 Success Requires Practice

In order to succeed you must become a Virtuoso at what you do. This means you must practice what you do every day. There are two types of practice: Deliberate Practice, which requires daily repetition and Analytical Practice, which requires third party feedback, as in a coach or mentor.

#5 Success Requires Relentless Persistence

One common refrain from all of the self-made millionaires in my study was that it would take death or some long-term disability to stop them from the pursuit of success. Their fanatical obsession in turning their dream into a reality imbibes them with the Rich Habit of persistence.

#6 Success Requires Daily Study

Reading to learn thirty minutes or more every day in order to gain critical career-centric knowledge was a common attribute among the self-made millionaires in my study.

#7 Success is Fueled by Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise increases the myelin sheath around the axons of brain cells, which helps boost your IQ. Aerobic exercise also increases the flow of oxygen into the brain, which helps clean and strengthen brain cells. Lastly, aerobic exercise produces greater neurogenesis – the birth of new brain cells in the hippocampus portion of the brain. Due to this aerobic exercise Rich Habit, the self-made millionaires in my study had vastly superior cognitive abilities, which helped them solve problems, be creative and overcome obstacles.

There are no shortcuts in life to accumulating wealth. That’s the real secret to becoming rich, if there is one.

The lottery mindset is either a cop-out for those who are unwilling to do the heavy lifting success requires or a Hail Mary pass for those mired in poverty and feeling helpless.

You’re not helpless. Poverty can be overcome. I know. I interviewed 72 self-made millionaires who were raised in poverty and who overcame that poverty by forging habits that eventually led to success and wealth.